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Copeland’s Big Night Helps Bulldogs Topple Dartmouth

Alex Copeland (Steve Musco photo)
Alex Copeland (Steve Musco photo)

Scores 25 Points In Yale's 74-64 Victory

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's offense was back on the mark Saturday against Dartmouth. The result was a much-needed 74-64 victory at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Alex Copeland (25), Trey Phills (17) and Miye Oni (15) combined for 57 points as the Bulldogs held off the pesky Big Green.

Yale, which leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage, shot nearly 51 percent from the field and made nine three-pointers after an off night shooting in a 54-52 loss to Harvard on Friday.

"Coach always says the beautiful thing about the Ivy League is you get a chance to go right back out there the next night," said Copeland, who did much of his damage in the second half when he scored 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

The Bulldogs, who have been among the national leaders in assists per game all season, finished with 16, which is actually below their average.

"We did a much better job of moving the ball [than last night]," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We had some driving lanes and Al and Trey took advantage."

Dartmouth had four players score in double figures, led by Taylor Johnson, who scored 15. The Big Green were just 4-of-17 from three-point range.

Yale (9-11, 2-2 Ivy) had the lead for much of the game but couldn't completely shake Dartmouth. Copeland's layup put the Bulldogs in front by 10 four minutes into the second half, but the Big Green hung tough and pulled within three, 54-51, on Will Emery's layup with eight minutes left.

That's when Oni went to work for the Bulldogs. He answered Emery's basket with a three-pointer and then increased Yale's lead to nine with another trey.

"Miye is someone we count on," Jones said. "He had a couple of opportunities [down the stretch], and he took advantage."

Still, the Big Green wouldn't go away. Knight's jumper cut the deficit back to three with 2:49 left, but Oni and Phills followed with back-to-back three-pointers, and Paul Atkinson sealed with win with a dunk off a nifty feed from Oni with 1:10 left that put Yale ahead by 11.

The Bulldogs benefitted from another strong offensive game from Phills, who has now scored in double figures in four straight games.

"Just thinking less and playing," he said when asked about his recent offensive production. "Trying to let the game come to me. It was nice to get a couple of layups early."

Phills scored 11 of his points in the first half as Yale shot 57 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.

Eric Monroe had five points and four assists for the Bulldogs, while Azar Swain scored six points off the bench. Atkinson, who leads the league in field goal percentage, made both his shots and finished with six points.

NOTES: Yale was without Blake Reynolds, who has a hamstring injury… Dartmouth outrebounded the Bulldogs 34-27. Twelve of the rebounds came on the offensive end, but the Big Green only converted them into nine second-chance points… Yale is now 15-3 in its last 18 games with Dartmouth. The two teams meet again Feb. 16 in Hanover, New Hampshire… The Bulldogs are on the road next weekend, traveling to Princeton (Friday) and Penn (Saturday). Both games are 7 p.m. tips.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity